The asiatic lion only continues to exist in the For national park. When this area was first protected, the lion population had fallen very low, some saying a matter of only a couple of dozen remaining members. In the 50 or so years since the population has multiplied well. Now are said to be around 400, spread across 1 contiguous protected area (under a number of different authorities – Gir Sanctuary, Gir National Park, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary, and Girnar Sanctuary. The first 3 form the core, with the others lying within dispersal range.
The problem is at these three have a combined area of about 561 square miles, which is an incredibly high density for lions.
They suffer an extremely high mortality rate as a result of this, with many cubs being killed by competing males and deaths every year when lions fall down uncovered wells.
For years, have been plans for a second home. Indeed kuno wildlife reserve has been set up to receive some.
Despite their own region pushing them close to extinction, they feel but they should now be the only ones to have them living within their borders. There have been a variety of often contradictory arguments made about stopping the move over the years, it is clearly a selfish reasons that fully explain the intransigence.
It is patently absurd, to claim ownership of a species, given that we are talking about one that one’s roamed across the majority of Asia, Southern Europe and north and western Africa. Indeed the west African lion has been shown to essentially be a relict population of the Asiatic lion- suggesting more asiatic lions survive in Africa as in India, though here the population is highly fragmented, and therefore long term less safe (though this fragmented population does mean it is inherently less at risk from illness).
So what can be done? Hopefully one day saner heads will prevail, and we must just pray that in the meantime there is not some sort of epidemic that wiped out the entire world’s population. We must also keep up the pressure and make sure that as soon as possible this is changed.